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Ivy Tech administrator to become charter school principal

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GARY | An Ivy Tech Community College Northwest administrator is leaving the college to become a charter school principal.

Joe Arredondo, who was director of K-12 Initiatives at Ivy Tech, is the new principal at Gary Middle College effective immediately. Arredondo's salary will be $85,000 per year. School leaders said he signed a three-year contract with an annual performance review.

Gary Middle College board Chairwoman Alyce Butler, released a statement saying they are extremely pleased to have Arredondo take on the position and look forward to having him help build new relationships and strengthen ties with Ivy Tech and other higher education institutions in the area.

"Mr. Arredondo is well known in Lake County for his successful efforts to create partnerships between area K-12 schools and Ivy Tech. He has served in various capacities at Ivy Tech over the past 19 years including associate director of admissions, assistant director of K12 initiatives, and most recently as director of K-12 initiatives for Ivy Tech North West," Butler said.

Arredondo, 50, of Valparaiso, said he's excited about being able to help students change their lives for the better.

"In my previous position, I didn’t have much personal interaction with the 5,000 students I served," he said. "Here at Gary Middle College, I’m looking forward to building a meaningful relationship with the student body to have a greater impact on their lives."

Technically, Arredondo's last day at Ivy Tech is Friday, however, he began his position at GMC July 1.

"One of the things I've learned is that there are students here who come from all kinds of backgrounds," he said. "We have students who left high school for a variety of reasons and want to get a high school diploma. I love Ivy Tech and always will. I had some mixed emotions about leaving but this was an opportunity that I didn't see coming. One of the great things for me is that I will still try and help students improve their lives by paving the way for them at Ivy Tech."

Gary Middle College is one of two charter schools in Gary operated by the Indianapolis-based GEO Foundation. The other is 21st Century Charter School, a K-through-12 school.

Gary Middle College was opened in fall 2012, geared to people who have dropped out of school and want to earn a high school diploma, as well as those who have not been successful in the traditional public school environment.

Kevin Teasley, who serves as superintendent of the two charter schools and is the president/CEO of the GEO Foundation, said Arredondo's expertise is in K12-college relationships, and his knowledge of the community has been critical to efforts at both 21st Century Charter School and GMC.

"He has helped 21st Century produce six students in the past three years who earned their associate degree while still in our high school. He has helped GMC increase its academic rigor and services to students with the goal to prepare GMC students to go beyond earning their high school diploma and on to college,” Teasley said in a statement.

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Southlake County Reporter

Carmen is an award-winning journalist who has worked at The Times newspaper for 20 years. Before that she also had stints at The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Miss., The Post-Tribune and The News Dispatch in Michigan City.

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